Victims of Crime Act (VOCA) Victim Assistance Formula Grant

The Victims of Crime Act of 1984, Public Law 98-473, as amended, and codified at 34 U.S.C. § 20101, et seq. (VOCA) established the Crime Victims Fund in the United States Department of Treasury to collect the fines assessed against Federal criminals and serve as the funding source for carrying out all of the activities authorized by VOCA, including the VOCA Victim Assistance Grant Program (VOCA Grant). The primary purpose of the VOCA Grant is to support the provision of direct services to victims of crime. In Hawaii, the Department of the Attorney General, Grants & Planning Branch is the State Administering Agency (SAA) for the VOCA grant funds. 

VOCA provides Federal financial assistance to States to provide direct services to victims of crime.  Services are defined as those efforts that: 1) respond to the emotional and physical needs of crime victims; 2) assist primary and secondary victims of crime to stabilize their lives after victimization; 3) assist victims of crime to understand and participate in the criminal justice system; or 4) provide victims of crime with a measure of safety and security.

Funding for the program is provided by fines collected from Federal criminals, and not by Congressional appropriation or tax dollars. The program is administered by the U.S. Department of Justice, Office of Justice Programs, Office for Victims of Crime (OVC). 

MATCH REQUIREMENT

VOCA requires at least a 20% match of the total VOCA project.


VOCA PRIORITY AREAS

A minimum of 10% of Hawaii’s VOCA funds must be budgeted to each of the following priority areas:

  • Sex Assault
  • Domestic Violence
  • Child Abuse
  • Underserved Population (i.e., Hawaii’s definition of undeserved includes victims of assault, adults molested as children, victims that are tourists/visitors, immigrants/victims with Limited English Proficiency, elderly, persons with disabilities, survivors of homicide/negligent homicide, victims of DUI/DWI, victims of property crimes, victims of sex trafficking, LGBTQQ victims, and those victims of crime residing in rural or geographically isolated area.)

ELIGIBLE APPLICANTS

  • Public or private non-profit organizations that provide direct services to crime victims.
  • Criminal justice agencies such as law enforcement, prosecutor offices, courts, corrections, probation and parole authorities are eligible to help pay for victim services.  For example, prosecutor-based victim services may include victim-witness programs, victim notification, and victim impact statements.  Corrections-based victim services my include victim notification, restitution advocacy, victim-offender mediation, and victim impact panels.  Police-based victim services may include victim crisis units or victim advocates, victim registration and notification, and cell phone and alarm services for domestic abuse victims.  VOCA funds may be used to provide victim services that exceed law enforcement normal duties.  Regular law enforcement duties such as crime scene intervention, questioning of victims and witnesses, investigation of the crime, and follow-up activities may not be paid for with VOCA funds.
  • Eligible recipients must utilize volunteers.
  • Eligible recipients must assist victims in seeking crime victim compensation benefits.

APPLICATION AND AWARDS

Below is a list of the FY 2016 VOCA sub-grantee awards.

FY 2016 VOCA Victim Assistance Sub-Grantee Awards

Agency Awarded

Title of Application

Award

Maui Prosecutor’s Office

Special Needs Advocacy Project

$621,420

Honolulu Prosecutor’s Office

Victim Witness Kokua Services Project

$1,572,856

Kauai Prosecutor’s Office

Kauai Victim of Crime Act Expansion Project

$272,760

Hawaii Prosecutor’s Office

Victim/Assistance Program

$946,932

Domestic Violence Action Center

Safe on Scene (SOS) Program

$250,037

Susannah Wesley Community Center

Trafficking Victim Assistance Program (TVAP) – Hawaii

$691,168

Catholic Charities

Safe and Sound Program: Treating Child Abuse Victims

$320,000

Parents and Children Together

Domestic Violence Services for Survivors and Children

$267,586

Hawaii Police Department

SANE/SAFE Coordination and Program Strengthening

$101,745

Women Helping Women

Lanai Shelter Program

$214,212

Domestic Violence Action Center

Specialized Advocacy Services for LGBTQ+ and Immigrant IPV Survivors

$267,473

Women Helping Women

Supportive Services Program

$220,000

Kokua Kalihi Valley

CHC-Based Trauma Induced Care Initiative

$663,072

Legal Aid Society of Hawaii

Legal Assistance for Victims of Crime II

$381,264

Hale Kipa

Commercial Sexual Exploitation/Trafficking Assessment Center/Shelter

$376,844

Susannah Wesley Community Center

H.O.P.E. Project

$400,000

Child and Family Service

Domestic Abuse Shelters and Transitional Housing Program — Leeward Oahu

$111,000

YWCA of Kauai

Enhanced Children’s and Housing Services for Victims of DV

$89,529

Molokai Community Service Council

Victims of Crime Act Victims Assistance Grant

$55,000

Visitor Aloha Society of Hawaii

Victim Assistance Program for Visitors Experiencing Adversity

$50,000

Children’s Alliance of Hawaii

Malama Services to Children Who Have Been Sexually Abused

$104,673

Children’s Alliance of Hawaii

Hoola Services to Children Who Have Been Sexually Abused

$121,690

Department of Public Safety

Victim Restitution Collection Team for Department of Public Safety

$175,000


STRATEGIC PLAN

Plan for Training Victim Service Providers in Hawaii


RELATED TRAININGS AND EVENTS

Hawaii has received a substantial increases in funding from the Federal VOCA Victim Assistance Formula Grant, from $2.2 million in federal FY 2014 to $10.1 million in federal FY 2016. These additional funds will provide Hawaii with an opportunity to increase direct services to victims of crime. It is also important to ensure that VOCA victim assistance providers are adequately and appropriately trained in working with victims.  The Department contracted with Ho’omaluhia, a Hawaii based program of the Family Violence and Sexual Assault Institute, to conduct a training need assessment of victim service providers in Hawaii. A VOCA Training Advisory Committee was convened to assist with developing a plan for training victim service providers in Hawaii.


TRAINING EVENTS BULLETIN BOARD

CPJAD is providing an electronic bulletin board of trainings for government and nonprofit agencies serving crime victims in the State.  Agencies and individuals are invited to submit training flyers with registration information to calleen.j.ching@hawaii.gov to be posted on the bulletin board.


REPORTING REQUIREMENTS

VOCA recipients are required to submit the following reports:

Program Reporting

Fiscal Reporting


VOCA FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS

 VOCA ALLOWABLE AND UNALLOWABLE COSTS

 Allowable Costs 

  • Immediate Health and Safety. Those services which respond to the immediate emotional and physical needs (excluding medical care) of crime victims such as crisis intervention; accompaniment to hospitals for medical examinations; hotline counseling; emergency food, clothing, transportation and shelter (including emergency, short-term nursing home shelter for elder abuse victims for whom no other safe, short-term residence is available); and other emergency services that are intended to restore the victim’s sense of security. Also allowable under this category is emergency legal assistance such as filing restraining orders and obtaining emergency custody/visitation rights, boarding-up broken windows and/or replacing locks. 
  • Personal Advocacy and Emotional Support. Services such as working with the victim to assess the impact of the crime; identification of victim needs; case management; management of practical problems created by the victimization; provision of information and referrals; traditional, cultural, and/or alternative therapy/healing (e.g. art therapy; yoga).
  • Mental Health Assistance. Services that assist the primary and secondary victims of crime in understanding the dynamics of victimization and in stabilizing their lives after victimization such as counseling, group treatment, and therapy.
  • Assistance with Participation in Criminal Justice Proceedings. These services may include advocacy on behalf of crime victims; accompaniment to criminal justice offices and court; transportation to court; child care or respite care to enable a victim to attend court; notification of victims regarding trial dates, case disposition information, and parole consideration procedures; and assistance with victim statements.
  • Forensic Examinations. For sexual assault victims, forensic exams are allowable costs only to the extent that other funding sources are unavailable or insufficient, and such exams conform with state evidentiary collection requirements.
  • Costs Necessary and Essential to Providing Direct Services. Pro-rated costs of rent, telephone services, and transportation costs for victims to receive services, emergency transportation costs that enable a victim to participate in the criminal justice system, and local travel expenses for service providers are allowable.
  • Special Services. Services to assist crime victims with managing practical problems created by the victimization such as acting on behalf of the victim to other service providers, creditors, or employers; assisting the victim to recover property that is retained as evidence; assisting in filing for compensation benefits; and helping to apply for public assistance.
  • Personnel Costs. Costs that are directly related to providing direct services, such as staff salaries and fringe benefits, including malpractice insurance; the cost of advertising to recruit VOCA-funded personnel; and the costs of training paid and  volunteer staff.
  • Restorative Justice. Opportunities for crime victims to meet with perpetrators, if such meetings are requested or voluntarily agreed to by the victim and have possible beneficial or therapeutic value to crime victims.
  • Perpetrator Rehabilitation and Counseling. VOCA funds do support rehabilitative services provided to offenders who are victimized. This includes services to incarcerated individuals, when the service pertains to the victimization of that individual
  • Relocation Expenses. This would include moving expenses, mortgage payments, and rental deposits.
  • Transportation. Transportation of victims to receive services and to participate in criminal justice proceedings.
  • Public Awareness. VOCA funds can be used for public awareness and education campaigns in schools, community centers, and other public forums that are designed to inform crime victims of specific rights and services and provide them with (or refer them to) services and assistance.

 Allowable Costs Needing CPJAD Approval 

  • Skills Training for Staff (*should not be a significant percentage of the total VOCA award; training request above 10% must obtain CPJAD approval)
  • Training Materials
  • Training Related Travel
  • Equipment and Furniture
  • Leasing Vehicles
  • Advanced Technologies (i.e. Case Management systems; automated victim notification systems, etc.)
  • Contracts for Professional Services (NOTE: VOCA funds should not be used to support contract services. However, it may be necessary for VOCA subrecipients to use a portion of the VOCA grant to contract specialized services such as assistance in filing restraining orders, establishing emergency custody rights.)
  • Operating Costs (i.e. printing, supplies, equipment use fees, etc.)
  • Supervision of Direct Service Providers
  • Repair of Replacement of Essential Items
  • Public Presentations
  • Indirect Organizational Costs (Federally negotiated rate/10% de minimis)
  • Legal Services

Unallowable Costs

  • Lobbying and Administrative Advocacy. VOCA funds cannot support victim legislation or administrative reform, whether conducted directly or indirectly.
  • Research and Studies. VOCA funds do not support any efforts conducted to study and/or research particular crime victim issues.
  • Prosecution Activities. VOCA funds cannot pay for activities that are directly related for the purpose of prosecution and/or improving the criminal justice system’s effectiveness and efficiency.
  • Fundraising activities.
  • Compensation for Victims of Crime. Reimbursing victims for expenses incurred as a result of crime such as lost wages, replacement of stolen property, insurance deductibles, medical bills, and funeral expenses are not supported with VOCA funds.
  • Medical Care. This includes examples such as nursing home care, home health care costs, in-patient treatment costs, hospital care, etc. VOCA funds cannot support medical costs resulting from victimization, except for forensic medical examinations for sex assault victims.
  • Salaries and Expenses of Management Salaries, benefits, fees, furniture, equipment, and other expenses of executive directors, board members and other administrators
  • Activities Exclusively Related to Crime Prevention.
  • Capital Expenses. Capital improvements, property losses and expenses, real estate purchases, mortgage payments, and construction.

VOCA FORMS


VOCA INFORMATION LINKS

VOCA STATUTORY CERTIFICATIONS